056: The Scariest Verse in Scripture…and How To Survive It

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard
The Art of Catholic with Matthew Leonard

catholic_FINAL_150A lot of passages in Scripture make me uncomfortable. But this one scares the dickens out of me.

In Matthew 12:36, Jesus declares “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.”

Uhhh…”every careless word”? (Insert teeth chattering.)

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve said some pretty ridiculous things in my life…things for which I would love to take the eternal Etch A Sketch, turn it upside down, and shake. (By the way, did I ever tell you I was in a 1970s Etch A Sketch commercial with my brothers and sisters? Story for another time…)

And I’m betting there are plenty of people reading this that are just as terrified of that verse as I am.

Well, fear not! In this special episode of the Art of Catholic, I’m actually the one being interviewed by none other than Marcus Grodi about this very difficult verse. Perhaps you’ve seen Marcus on his EWTN show The Journey Home. (I was on that show once, too…a long time after the Etch A Sketch commercial.) Marcus is a wonderful man and in this show we’ll discuss things like:

  • How words are more powerful than we realizehard-verses-screen-shot
  • The vital role of silence
  • Why what’s in your heart is the key to your speech
  • How St. Paul provides help in gaining control over your thoughts
  • The secret to maintaining “silence” even when speaking (this one rule is worth listening to the whole show…not that the rest isn’t great, too:)

So unless you don’t have a tongue (or you’re a professional mime), this very special episode is for you!



It’s got a whole chapter on silence and controlling your tongue! If you really want to understand the ins-and-outs of deep prayer: what it is, how to do it, the 3 Stages of the Spiritual Life, vocal, meditative, & contemplative prayer in the Catholic tradition – this is the book for you!

Matthew Leonard, in an engaging style, shows how ancient Catholic prayer traditions still meet the needs of today’s Catholics.”—His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington

We all need help to grow spiritually…Matt Leonard shows us the way.” – Dr. Scott Hahn, author, speaker, and Professor of Scripture and Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville

8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover ImageGrab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! It’s an easy step-by-step guide to help you rocket to God!



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6 Responses

  1. Matthew,

    Will the account you give be an evaluation of each thing said? Word after painstaking word? Or will it review the pattern of your words over time? For example: did you uncaringly get progressively worse. Or did you hold Him tightly by the hand and, with His help, get better. Pray (beg) for the second option. He answers prayers.

    Lawrence McGowan

    1. The text says “every careless word”, Lawrence…yikes! That said, God’s greatest attribute is his mercy. Thanks be to God!

  2. It was a pleasure to run across “Hard Verses” with you and Marcus Grodi giving incredibly positive steps to growing in holiness. The zestful excitement of the Spirit in your voices throughout the interview lifted me to new hope and understanding of what has been taking place in my life. It started for me by reading a psalm where David is asking God to show him his “hidden” sins; and of course I immediately knew a new journey would commence in my life. I was taken into a period of desolation thinking that God had forsaken me, my arrogance and fleshly self was still very much alive and in control when I thought I had long passed go! My battle with resistance and stubbornness is still very evident but I hear begin again…Your comments on learning how to pray through our rich Catholic liturgies and sacraments helped me to know I am going in the right direction. And the power of our words, good or bad, made its mark. The Golden Rule by Fr. Edward Lein is saved word for word. and Quiet will be a guiding light for me. Thank you for your confirmation to me that God is doing His purging work in me. God continue to bless your apostolate of zeal and excitement of being alive in the Spirit in all that you do.

    1. Shirley, that was one of the best comments I’ve ever received on this site. You are obviously striving for holiness and love God deeply. Never forget that He loves you more than you can even fathom. Don’t stop seeking Him! Thank you for your very kind words and please pray for me! God bless you!

  3. Thank you very much Mathew for these insightful talk and all your other ones for that matter. During my travels, I listen to your podcast to provide some much needed spiritual direction. This talk has really sunk in and made me realize how badly I need to clean up my communication with others, with my wife, and my inner self. May the Lord bless and keep you! Tim

    1. Thank you, Tim! I appreciate the kind words and encouragement. And I’m thrilled to be used in some small way by our Lord in your life. All glory be to Him and may you grow closer and closer to His sacred heart!

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